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University Libraries

Our Collections

South Caroliniana Library has four collecting areas: Manuscripts, Published Materials, University Archives and Visual Materials. The collections work together to document South Carolina and the American South.

Collecting Areas

Expand the links below to learn more about each of South Caroliniana's collecting areas. When available, collection finding aids are accessible online. Please email all reference queries to

Please note all collections are stored offsite. Advanced notification is required.

Holdings include letters, diaries and other unpublished papers of families and individuals; genealogical collections; broadsides; plantation account books; non-USC dissertations dealing with South Carolina history; and information collected by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) regarding folklore, local history, etc. Other holdings include records of churches, clubs and other organizations, as well as business records of small country stores, large textile mills and other concerns.

Some finding aids are available online, but many are not.

Additional description available in the publication: A Guide to the Manuscript Collection of the South Caroliniana Library (1982), by Dr. Allen H. Stokes. More recent acquisitions are described in the University South Caroliniana Society’s Annual Report of Gifts, which patrons can consult in the library’s reading room.

What is NOT Here:
For wills, unpublished state and county records, schedules of the U.S. Federal Census, inventories, court minutes and other government documents, consult the South Carolina Department of Archives and History (SCDAH).

Graham Duncan, Head of Collections and Curator of Manuscripts

The South Caroliniana Library collects publications written by or about the people, places and culture of South Carolina. Holdings include books, maps, pamphlets, South Carolina newspapers, sheet music, USC dissertations and theses, magazines and other periodicals, and vertical files of clippings and other ephemera.

Digital Collections »

View finding aids for Published Materials.

Edward Blessing, Head of User Services and Curator of Published Materials

Holdings include university records with permanent historical value from major administrative offices, such as the Board of Trustees, the President and the Provost; photographs; drawings and maps of campus buildings and grounds; and 19th-century student records. The bulk of the material is from the 20th century. Work is ongoing to describe materials in the university's online catalog.

Some finding aids are available online, but many are not.

The Archives does not hold genealogies or family histories. Objects and artifacts relating to the university's history can be found at McKissick Museum.

Elizabeth West, University Archivist

The Visual Materials collections house a variety of materials that document the people, places and culture of South Carolina. There are three major areas:

  • Architectural records
  • Artwork
  • Photographs and postcards

Work is ongoing to describe materials in the university's online catalog. Most of the photographic materials are part of this catalog, but records for the architectural records and a significant portion of the artwork are not yet available.

Finding aids for the larger collections are available.

Beth Bilderback, Visual Materials Archivist


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